Myth vs. Fact – COVID-19 Vaccine

Anya Rothman, Staff Reporter

With more people becoming eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, a lot of myths have been circulating that need to be cleared up. To combat this, let’s  examine six of the most common myths and explain the truth.

Myth 1: The vaccine gives you Covid-19

Fact: The vaccine does not give you Covid-19. While some vaccines from a while ago actually gave you a milder version of the disease that they were vaccinating against, the Covid-19 vaccine does not do that. What the vaccine actually does is it helps your cells to make “spike protein,” which is totally harmless. This protein “teaches our cells how to make a protein […] that triggers an immune response in our bodies,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. To learn more about how the vaccine works, visit the CDC website.

Myth 2: The vaccine’s side effects are dangerous

Fact: It is true that the Covid-19 vaccine may have side effects, including headaches, muscle pains, tiredness, chills, nausea, and fever, according to the CDC. However, only about 30% of people experience side effects, and those who do only experience a small amount of these side effects, not all of them at once. All of these side effects usually last for only a day or two, and nobody has suffered permanent damage or death.

“For the first shot, my arm was just a little sore for a few hours afterward,” English teacher Angie Heaps said. “For the next dose, I was just really tired the next day.”

Myth 3: The vaccine is not very effective

Fact: The Covid-19 vaccine’s effectiveness rate is about 80-90%. While this may not sound very high, it is actually much higher than most vaccines. For example, the flu is pretty well controlled by its vaccine, and that only has about 40-60% effectiveness. Keep in mind, though, that the vaccine will not achieve its maximum effectiveness until two weeks after taking the second dose.

Myth 4: People who have already had Covid-19 do not need the vaccine

Fact: While recovering from Covid-19 does boost your protection against getting it again, it is still important to get the vaccine because, without it, you can still run the risk of reinfection. Don’t be alarmed if you have stronger side effects after getting the first dose of the vaccine if you have already been sick. That is normal and not dangerous.

Myth 5: You don’t need to continue to take precautions once you have received the vaccine

Fact: Because the vaccine is not 100% effective, it is still important to continue to wear a mask and social distance around others until herd immunity is reached, which means that at least 80% of the population has resistance against the disease. The only way to achieve herd immunity is through people getting vaccinated, so, while receiving it may not have an immediate impact on what you can do, the only way to go back to normal is through getting vaccinated.

Myth 6: The vaccine changes your DNA

Some people have been worried that the vaccine will change their genetic material. The vaccine does nothing like that, so don’t worry that your hair color will suddenly change or that you’ll sprout an extra arm.

So next time you see something about the vaccine that you are not sure about, do some research to see if it’s true, and share what you learn with others.